Information for webmasters

This page gives informations to webmasters managing a website that is available in GCstar through a plugin.

GCstar's overview

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Presentation

You could find more information in the documentation on this website. But here are the key features you may want to know about.

So first GCstar is a free software published under the terms of the GNU General Public License. It is developed by volunteers that do it during their spare time. There is no company behind GCstar.

This application is designed to help people manage their personal collections. It provides some default models, such as movies, video games, books,... And it also lets them create their own kind of collections.

For the default models, instead of entering all the information manually, it is possible to use some plugins to fetch them from websites. Each plugin corresponds to one website and it is partly independent from the rest of the application.

What GCstar does with your website

Technically, GCstar acts exactly as a web browser. It downloads the page, parses the HTML source and display the information. Then the user may store this information locally in a file using an internal format (based on XML). The web browser does nearly the same also when caching.

Without GCstar, the user could do the exact same operations. But she/he will have to copy/paste manually the information. The main difference here, is that GCstar will keep the origin of the information stored with the information themselves. Then, when the user will display this information, a button will be displayed that will direclty link to your website. If she/he used a simple file, this information would be lost.

GCstar also displays a warning on first startup and for every new collection created. This lets them know that the information are only for a personal use as shown below.

The information are always stored only on the computer of the user. There is absolutely no place on GCstar’s website (or any other related online repository) where these information could be also replicated.

Commercial aspect

We don’t make any commercial usage of this software. Anyone could freely use and distribute it.

The advertisments on the GCstar’s website are used to finance the hosting and the domain name. We can’t communicate on the exact revenues for this as stated by Google’s AdSense agreements. But the numbers of visitors on the website is quite low (around 100 vistors/day). And most of them are already technical or advanced users.

The impacts on your website

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Bandwidth

It’s impossible to exactly know how many users there are. But it is obviously a little number compared to the trafic your website could have.

GCstar will also only download the HTML source and sometimes a few pictures (only one for movies and books, 1 to 3 for video games). It won’t download any other resources such as other pictures, flash animations, javascript, CSS,...

Once the information are downloaded on the user’s machine, there won’t be other access on the website (unless the user click on the button to visit your website with her/his web browser).

GCstar doesn’t perform any kind of parallel transaction or pre-fetching, while most web browsers do. Only one resource is downloaded at a given time. For searches, the results are parsed by the application, then the results are displayed to the user using only the information from the current page. The user selects what item is interesting for her/him and the second page is then downloaded. It means that between each request to your website, there could be many seconds. And in worst cases, it should not be less than 1 second.

Revenues

If your revenues are only based on advertisements, it’s true that they won’t be displayed on first time for users. But it would be exactly the same if they used one of the plugins available for web browsers that hide any kind of advertisement.

It won’t also impact your statistics. As GCstar doesn’t get the resources, it won’t download what is needed for this advertisement. Most of the time, it uses some flash animations, pictures or javascript code. Then it won’t be considered as a user that displayed it but didn’t click on it.

If your website sells the items that GCstar is getting the information for, it should not change anything. The application is meant to help users managing their collections of actual items they own. So if they enter one item in GCstar, they already have it and are not looking for buying it.

Contact

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If you have other questions related to the usage or your website that are not answered in this document or somewhere else on the website, do not hesitate to contact someone in the development team. The project manager is the person that will most likely be able to answer to you. But it would be better if you use instead the GCstar's forums.

On our side, we are trying to contact all the webmasters to inform them about this. It is sometimes hard to find the contact information on websites. And most of the time, we didn’t even get an answer. The plugins are also often developed by limited contributors not related to the permanent ones, and it could be hard to know if they really did this operation.

 
en/webmasters_information.txt · Last modified: 19/05/2008 11:39 by Tian



Should you have a problem using GCstar, you can open a bug report or request some support on GCstar forums.